Where Is My "Home"
Maryam Tohidi, 38
Immigrated from Tehran, Iran
"First to Ottawa, Canada, and later to the U.S."
As I start to speak to Maryam Tohidi, I didn’t instantly notice her dialect, but as you start to listen to her talk, you hear the smallest bit of an accent, as if she’s letting you in on a secret that she’s from somewhere else. However, as Maryam told me her story, she spoke of the wild variety of places she’s visited when she took a trip around the world recently, exploring different countries and cultures, trying to find where “home” is.
As I was talking to her, she told me of her worldwide travels, and how lucky she was to have this experience, all because of her parents took the challenges to move their family to Canada from Iran. She’s a computer scientist who has worked companies like Google, Facebook, but an artist at heart. She told me of her travels and her dream to live in Barcelona one day, but she also talked about how much she missed having friends and family around, and how there were difficulties of being a nomad for many months.
“Every time you move, there is a part of you that you leave behind,” Maryam commented.
When she returned to Iran for the first time after many years, it was very difficult for her emotionally, to see everything that she had grown up with. “All the memories I formed in those streets and with those people, I no longer had in my life,” she said.
I asked her to speak more about becoming a different person when she immigrated from one country to the next and she told me in a wistful voice, “We moved around so much that right now, I don’t have a good sense of what home is, which is good and bad because now, I see the whole world as a possibility of what I might call home next.”